You may not be able to buy happiness, but you can certainly buy refreshment. And that in a nutshell is Coke’s problem in the U.S. Short of a cold slap in the face, there is really nothing more refreshing than an ice cold Coke. Pepsi is refreshing but a bit sweeter so it loses the refresh-off. Orange soda? Ice Tea? Cold bottled water? Not as refreshing. The Pepsi “Refresh” campaign, where the word is mostly used as a synonym “reboot,” shows possibilities but doesn’t yet deliver.
I love the entertainment value of the current Coke TV work out of Wieden+Kennedy. It’s pretty, heartwarming and fun. But it lacks the primary motivation for consumption. Sure refreshment may trickle through the work but it’s secondary. People don’t drink Coke to up their happiness quotient.
The soft drink market is the States is facing lots of issues: Sugar, recession, obesity, competitive specialization, i.e., energy drinks, yet soda consumption is actually outpacing waters and teas for the first time in a while. Overseas Coke is growing by double digits in countries like Russia, India, Egypt, Vietnam, Philippines, Turkey and Brazil. Are they buying Coke to get happy? Roots is a big movement in the U.S. right now. Coca-Cola and the Coke brand need to get back to its roots. Peace!